The perfect marriage – tacos and tequila – are the inspiration for exploring Vancouver by bike. Hop on your pedal-powered steed and relish the best tacos Vancouver has to offer washed down by everyone’s favorite agave product. Try your tequila neat or in a craft Margarita or Paloma. In order to successfully complete the tour in a reasonable state of mind and belly, we are going to focus on 5 options along the Main St corridor.
Let’s start where Gastown meets Railtown at Cuchillo (01). Marked by a neon purple skull, this place is one of our favorites. All the food is innovative, fresh, and thoughtfully prepared and the atmosphere is lively without being too loud. Happy hour is 5-6 pm and during this magical hour tacos are 1/2 price, Margaritas are $8 and beer, $4.
Choose from a divine vegetarian option of roasted cauliflower, almond date butter and tomato ginger jam or a fish taco made of Szechuan peppercorn rockfish, kimchi, lemon aioli and rice noodles. Or meat lovers can try one with lamb albondigas (meatballs) with ancho chile cream and parmesan popcorn.
Try a Tequila flight featuring 4 premium tequilas or any of their craft Margaritas.
Next up, ride your bike 3 blocks west to Carrall St. Hang a left and on your next corner, 15 W Cordova St., you’ll come upon Tacofino’s Gastown establishment, Taco Bar (02).
Gobble up a classic like Pork al Pastor with spit-roasted pork, pineapple, pickled onion, cilantro or something more innovative like the delicious Octopus Tostada with guacamole, lime crema, black garlic aioli, pickled jalapenos, potato & crispy shallots. For the veggies, there’s a delicious squash and chickpea fritter option and another with Kabocha squash and pickled cauliflower.
Pace yourself but consider a shot of tequila (El Jimador Blanco) followed by a casita verdita – a chaser of pineapple, mint, cilantro, jalapeño.
Tako and La Taqueria
Jump back on your wheels and drive South on Carrall St. to Expo Blvd. Turn Right towards Rogers Arena and in about 200 m. just after Abbott St., you’ll come across an innovative Korean taco bar called Tako (03). The establishment doesn’t have tequila so your liver gets a break but do try a Gangnam Taco (barbecued short ribs) or a Seoul Taco (Fried Chicken with spicy sauce) before heading to the False Creek seawall and peddling around past Science World on your way to stop number (04) La Taqueria at Main and Broadway. It is best to cycle up Ontario as it is a designated bike route and avoids Main St. traffic.
La Taqueria is one of the fastest expanding restaurant operations in Vancouver boasting 4 locations here and 1 in Victoria. Using traditional Mexican recipes prepared with local, organic ingredients, La Taqueria delivers authentic fare in lively, vibrant spaces. Try the chocolate mole, stewed chicken taco or the “Atun” – spiced seared tuna, ponzu glaze. wasabi mayo, pico de gallo – or really any option as they are all delicious! And La Taqueria loves tequila so be sure to try a Paloma (grapefruit soda, tequila, salted rim). Hora Feliz (Happy Hour) is every day from 3-6pm.
El Fin – El Caminos
Newly replenished, ride your bike South on Main Street (or Quebec or Ontario Streets for less traffic), to your final stop, El Caminos (05). Named and branded after Chevrolet’s iconic coupé utility vehicle, here you will find tacos and other Latin American street food like Venezuelan Arepas or Cuban Tortas. But why not finish off this little tour with classic Baja Fish Tacos…panko crusted cod, pickled jalapeno, slaw, avocado and pico de gallo.
You are now done! And please take our wise counsel – wear a helmet and pace yourself. You are still driving a vehicle, albeit a man-powered, 2-wheeled one…